EXETER – Aleah Kranson made sure Wyoming Area got off to a fast start in its girls basketball season opener and whenever the Lady Warriors needed a boost in energy, Cassidy Orzel came off the bench to provide it.
The two combined with Sarah Holweg to create the surges that carried Wyoming Area to a big lead over defending District 2 Class A champion Susquehanna on the way to a 58-42, non-league victory over the visiting Lady Sabers Friday night.
Holweg overcame an off shooting night to finish with 22 points, seven steals and five assists.
Kranson went 4-for-4 in the first quarter when she scored all nine of her points.
“Aleah has dedicated herself to training at such a high level,” Wyoming Area coach Chad Lojewski said of Kranson, who is coming off a fall in which she led the Wyoming Valley Conference girls soccer in scoring. “That’s why she’s such a good soccer player.
“The first half was hers. She was out there really engaged and committed.”
Cassidy Orzel hit all five of her shots from the floor while adding 10 points and three steals.
“She’s a tremendous spark off the bench,” Lojewski said. “That’s exactly what we were hoping for.”
Addison Orzel added 10 points while sharing the team rebounding lead with Nicole Silinskie at six and also blocking two shots.
“I thought the point distribution was spread out,” Lojewski said. “That gives me confidence for some tougher games that are ahead of us.”
Kranson scored the game’s first basket on a steal and breakaway.
The Lady Sabers tied it on a baseline drive by Taylor Huyck, who scored 19 points.
Once Addison Orzel hit two free throws 2:13 into the game, Wyoming Area led the rest of the way.
The free throws started a streak of 14 straight points to a 16-2 lead.
Silinskie tracked down a rebound and kicked it out to Kranson for a 3-pointer.
Holweg was then involved in back-to-back baskets off steals for an 11-2 lead midway through the quarter. She made a steal to set up Kranson, then scored off an Addison Orzel steal.
After the teams went nearly three minutes without scoring, Holweg hit a 3-pointer and Kranson buried a shot from the left wing 20 seconds apart to complete the run.
The Lady Warriors led 16-5 at the quarter and built the lead to 28-8 midway through the second quarter when Holweg scored consecutive baskets 18 seconds apart on drives following her own steals.
Susquehanna made the first of several surges that kept the game from getting out of hand, closing to 31-17 at halftime.
“We didn’t do any man-to-man in the first half,” Lojewski said. “It was good to see; we played good team defense. In the first half, if a team scores 17 points we’re going to be in most games.”
Holweg had seven points and Addison Orzel hit three straight shots to add six in the third quarter when the Lady Warriors opened their biggest lead, 50-29.
Susquehanna scored nine straight to begin the fourth quarter, but never got closer than 12 again.
“We needed to play somebody that wasn’t ourselves,” Lojewski said. “It was a good match-up because they have a couple of very talented players.
“We should have matched up Taylor Huyck much better.”
Mackenzie Steele, a 6-foot-2 sophomore center, added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Susquehanna.
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at email@example.com.